marshall.eubanks at gmail.com
Fri Dec 15 23:42:44 UTC 2017
On Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 2:19 PM, Garrett Wollman <wollman at csail.mit.edu>
> <<On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:32:03 +0100, "Philip Paeps" <philip at trouble.is>
> > Note that we do not have a "Europe/Koebenhavn" or a "Europe/Lefkosia" -
> > to pick two examples of transliterations of local names that are
> > different from the names of the cities in English. We have a
> > "Europe/Copenhagen" and the "Europe/Nicosia".
> Contrast the case (which thankfully we do not have to deal with) of
> the capital city of the People's Republic of China. In English, it
> used to be called "Peking", and in fact in the name of the university
> and of the duck dish it still is. The PRC government made a concerted
> campaign to change the name used by English speakers to be "Beijing",
> which is a phonetic representation of the name of the city in Mandarin
> (putonghua). This has to a very large extent worked, and now most
> English texts say "Beijing" and not "Peking" (although many people
> still don't pronounce it "correctly" because the letters in hanyu
> pinyin don't have the same sound values as they do in English).
> However, in many languages *other than English*, the name of the city
> has not changed -- AFAIK it's still "Pékin" in French, for example.
Note that the name in Chinese ("Northern Capitol" ) did not change - this
was not politics so much as an attempt
to spur the adoption of a new transliteration scheme. Peiping = Peking =
Beijing in the original.
> So the lesson here is that, if the Ukrainian people (or their
> government) earnestly want to change how the name of their capital
> city is written by English speakers, they're going to have to do a way
> more effective job at lobbying the people who actually shape how
> English speakers use words -- especially the mass media. The tz
> database is descriptive and lobbying its maintainers will not have the
> desired effect.
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